The strangest thing just happened. And full disclosure, I'm not even sure that it really happened. But whether it did or did not really happen does not change the intense feelings that I felt about it. Feelings that took me so by surprise, feelings that so smacked me down, and so humbled me, that either way, I guess I needed it.
Today was my first day back in the office after 9 days off. So, suffice is to say, it was busy. After work I spent some time with a friend, which left me totally preoccupied as I headed to my local and favorite yoga studio for the 7 pm class.
I walked in behind a woman about my age. A woman with olive skin, dark hair, and a gray streak right in the front. I continued mired in my thoughts, but there was something vaguely familiar about her.
I looked again. On this second glance, my breath caught. Oh my fucking god, could it be? Is that seriously Denise?! You do remember Denise, right? It's been a while, as in it's been many years since she's worked her way into my blog posts, but here I am again, in 2013, totally flipping bent on Denise!
Jesus, didn't I let this go years ago? Aren't I fine with everything? I have let it ALL go. Haven't I? I have forgiven Michael for breaking my heart. I really have. I would not be sane today if I hadn't. (And I never laid the marriage's failure at Denise's feet. She was not the one who made a commitment to me.) I'm doing my damnedest to make the post-divorce relationship a smooth one with Tommy, my second ex-husband. I work hard on not getting worked up about what I feel he could be taking more responsibility for. I cannot afford to keep it all, so I let it go.
It's what I do. It's my MO, I move on. I let things GO.
It's not an automatic; it's always a work in progress -- something that I know is good for me. And one of the places that I work on this the most is in the yoga studio. In my local yoga studio. In OB. I can't hold on to it all or it will drag me down to murky depths beneath the nearby pier. (Which in OB are sure to be littered with syringes, peeled-off crunchy OB seagull stickers, beer bottles, and used condoms.)
But here she is, in my fucking yoga studio! In OB. I am no longer detached. I am angry. I am a territorial shrew. In my studio?! Take my husband, but please, oh please do NOT tread on my sacred space. The space where I am most myself.
Indie is not a big studio. Nor is it in an easy to access location. It's one block from the ocean, there is no parking. Why would you be here? Did you move to OB? (You were near a bike when I first saw you.) Are you gonna be in some, or half, or all of my future classes? Are you going to co-opt my whole life?
I know, how egocentric, how self centered, how territorial, but the woman did not do any yoga when she started seeing my husband behind my back. I heard from friends that she started doing hot yoga at CorePower a few years ago, and now, pow, you're in my class?! Here? In my studio? This is not a yoga-mill studio. There is a sense of community here. A sense of belonging. You, Denise, do not belong.
She was near me in class, a little behind and to the right. I could see her entire practice, and she mine. Mine was strong tonight, and although I should be ashamed to admit it, I was glad for this. I stood tall, I reached high, I kept my front leg bent to 90 degrees, my breath moving, my heart open, my core engaged, my quads tight, my twist twisted -- you name it. I did it.
(SO not what the yoga studio is for.)
I don't know if it was real or imagined, but she skipped postures, she shrank back. Could she feel my rage? My bitchy sense of ownership, my totally undeserved feelings of belonging more than her?
My shame came full circle at the end of class, when the teacher said, as she usually does, to acknowledge the divine light that resides in each of us (in each and every one of us) in the yoga studio tonight. To not only acknowledge it, but actually bow down to this truth.
Yes, I bowed, to you, Denise. To you.
You and me, we're the same. Equal in our radiance and shadow.
Welcome to Indie.